I’m not a victim of rape. I’m not a victim of sexual assault. I may be a victim of sexual harassment but even that could be pushing it. In practical terms, I may not even be classified as a victim. But, I wish I had had the voice then that I have now.
I wish I could have told my teacher him poking me and pulling my hair in the hallway or in classes made me uncomfortable.
I wish I would have said no when my teacher asked if he could hug me,
I wish I would have pulled away from the hug as he held me too many seconds too long.
I wish I didn’t feel like I owed him another hug after that to which he proceeded to kiss me on my forehead.
I wish I hadn’t gone to him for advice to my life problems like I had. He was so easy to talk to and I valued what he said but the “fun” and more than unnecessary physical contact made it weird and uncomfortable but he was someone I trusted when it came to sharing.
I wish I had told another faculty member or my family the personal experiences I had with him.
I knew I wasn’t the only one, there were many other girls who did the same thing as me: thought it was weird of him but brushed it off.
I wish I hadn’t been so conflicted and that scenarios like this were more cut and dry. He didn’t hurt me, he didn’t rape me, but he put me in an awkward in-between position of he wasn’t doing anything “bad” so to speak but he wasn’t being professional either.
I wish I had known then that saying something was better than saying nothing at all.